There are probably tons of resources on the best free WordPress plugins out in the wild so you ask, why another? Well because in many cases when you go through the list of plugins you find some that have minimal functions and have to pay to make the most use out of the plugins.
Our pick is about WordPress plugins that can be very useful when used for free and the ones that can be used on whatever type of website you decide to operate.
WordPress is open-source web-based software that allows you to create websites, blogs, and other web applications quickly and conveniently. With that in mind, we want to continue on with the same tone and showcase just a few of the best free WordPress Plugins that you should install on every WordPress website you set up. Let’s get started with the top five best free WordPress plugins.
1. WordFence Security Plugin
With online security being compromised more ever today than before by malicious attackers it has become more important today to have a plan for some level of security even though it is at minimal cost and that is where Wordfence Security comes in.
This plugin comes with a built-in WordPress anti-virus tool. It keeps track of dangerous configuration and file changes that may compromise your website. It keeps track of new and old threats alike though there is a 30-day delay for the free version on new threats.
There is also a Firewall that is useful in keeping attackers at bay, where you can block countries, IP addresses, and users from attacking your websites. With WordFence Security you also get the benefit of protection from Malware found in Malicious plugins and themes as well as those that may have ended up on the WordPress system through other sources.
As a bonus, you can track live traffic to your website so that you can get an idea of who is visiting your site and where they are coming from.
2. JetPack by WordPress.com Plugin
JetPack by WordPress.com brings long tried and tested features available to the cloud-hosted users to the self-hosted users’ websites. It allows users to set up a WordPress.com and link it to their blogs. With this plugin, you get several features and services packed into a single plugin.
For starters, you get site statistics where you can see how your posts are performing. Just like WordFence, with JetPack, you also get protection from attackers trying to compromise your website. Performance is improved by loading your images from a CDN.
You also get important notifications on what’s happening on your website. Your content is opened up with a simple JSON-based API. With this, you can grant access to the website from third-party apps. This plugin also comes with tools to share your content as well as to auto-post on social media channels.
JetPack comes with an improved comment system as well as user subscription features where you can have your users subscribe to your website. This plugin also extends the core WordPress features including adding infinite scroll, a mobile theme… though not sure why you would want this if you use a well-designed theme. You also have an easier and more intuitive way to write custom CSS.
You also get to have additional Widgets such as Twitter streams, Image adders plus options for full-screen carousels.
JetPack provides much more benefits that come at a price but the free offerings will get you well and conveniently on your website operating journey with one of the best free WordPress plugins.
3. Yoast SEO Plugin
Third, of our top five best free WordPress plugins is the WordPress Yoast SEO Plugin is another extension you need to have on every website as an SEO strategy is something you want as a core function on your site. This plugin helps you organize your posts and pages in a Search Engine friendly and social media-friendly manner.
It allows you to organize your page titles and descriptions on a post-by-post basis. It allows you to pick default images in case a post does not have an image attached to it. With this plugin, you can customize what you want to display on Twitter, Facebook, and other search engines with ease.
Yoast SEO does not stop there. With it, you get a free on-the-fly writing guide. It allows you to see what is wrong with your post in terms of readability and writing style. It uses the Flesch Reading Ease test as its standard in an interactive panel that corrects you in real-time.
With this plugin, you can also decide to have your meta page title titles and page description be customized for mobile devices and have something different for Desktop computers. You can also choose to block certain content from search engine indexing or following links within that post altogether.
More advanced features allow you to set up canonical links for your posts which can help to avoid duplicate content issues with search engines. You can use this plugin to handle your XML sitemaps and breadcrumbs should you need it.
There are more powerful tools that allow you to do bulk editing of titles and descriptions rather than processing a single post at a time. The plugin also allows you to go in and edit your robots.txt or even your .htaccess file for those running WordPress on Apache Web Server. If you have WordFence Plugin running you may get blocked trying to accomplish this so you will have to explicitly give permission when prompted.
This plugin also allows webmasters to link their websites to the Google Search consoles from within the admin dashboard.
4. Contact Form 7 Plugin
Next on our top five best free WordPress plugins is the famous Contact Form 7. This wins no awards for being pretty but it sure makes up for it in usefulness. First off let’s get done and dusted with the cons of this plugin. The first one is that it does not come with an intuitive visual editor and so you have to tweak and fine-tune using the HTML code and shortcodes.
This makes it not ideal for not-so-tech-savvy website owners. and just maybe one would have to take a look at JetPack to get online contact forms.
The second issue with this plugin is the default email text in some cases can get zapped by anti-spam systems. The way around this which for branding purposes we would highly recommend is to personalize the text on the emails that this plugin sends out.
So what you can do with Contact Form 7 is to create online forms that can be used to engage your website visitors from your WordPress website. It is compatible with Google’s (I am not a Robot) Captcha. You can add virtually every form of the HTML5 form field and upload multiple forms to go with your feedback.
Contact form 7 does not give options for saving attachments on the filesystem, nor does it record logs of the feedback sent through the website. All in all, this is a great plugin as it is stable, simple, and works as expected once it has been set up.
5. Cookie Notice Plugin
It has several configuration options that range from restricting users from proceeding to view the website until they consent to the Cookie Notice message or where continued viewing of the website implies consent. It allows website owners to configure the message and choose where to place it on the page.
This plugin also allows the configuration of the theme of the message to one that best matches the website. It also allows other settings changes that allow one to ensure that their WordPress websites comply with the European Union rules on transparency on how Cookies are used on websites viewed by residents in that region.
6. Bonus Plugin – WooCommerce
WooCommerce is the go-to plugin when you want to run an E-commerce WordPress website with minimal effort. Out of the box, it comes with everything you need to get your E-commerce shop running out of the box with just minor tweaks and settings concerning product categories, product prices, shipping details, taxes, and payment options.
Here we did not include this plugin on the top five best free WordPress plugins because technically you would want to only use this plugin if you are running an online shopping website. Therefore we went ahead to add it as a bonus item.